(written to Lori from one of our new leaders just after meeting with her potential charity partner for the first time to ‘sell’ them on the idea of Chicktime) Jan 2013
Today has been very busy, I’ve been working on this email all day in between kids, dinner, and everything else.Anyhow, I am SOOO excited! I received word earlier today from (MCW) that they are honored & have agreed to have Chicktime work with the women and children in their residential program! This means that we are partnering with a shelter!!! There are approx. 20 women and 15 children! I am ubber excited!!! The shelter is a warm, caring environment with friendly staff! They have an awesome recently remodeled kitchen, a large enclosed outdoor area, and good indoor space too.
I’m truly excited to partner with MCW because they focus on the well being of the whole person; more than just providing a bed and food. This shelter also works with the women for up to 2 yrs in their residential program and up to 2 yrs in their after-care program! As I mentioned before, I can definitely relate to being homeless and focused on immediate needs of food & housing and not being able to focus on spending time with one’s children as a result. However, with Chicktime, the women at MCW will be able to build their self-esteem and “forget” about their temporary situation and enjoy a smile or laughter while re-establishing bonds with their children and experiencing opportunities through Chicktime that they may not have been able to otherwise!
The exciting thing is there’s a unique angle to all of this. The women in the aftercare program can also connect- as volunteers. The staff at MCW asked if they could be included and I thought that I didn’t want to exclude anyone and instantly I realized they would have an awesome, insightful perspective having recently “graduated” from the residential shelter program, so I invited them to volunteer and MCW loved that idea so its really a continual circle of volunteering!!! The women in residence to the women in after-care to the women in the community like myself! AND they were open to having our daughters volunteer as well!!!!
I set the standard at having an age requirement for volunteer daughters (12 yrs old and older), not only because my own daughter is 12, but because that is the perfect age of coming into self-awareness, budding independence, learning to experience & appreciate differences, etc. Also, so the shelter didn’t think there would be really young children who would be more of a responsibility than a help.
My Chicktime chapter also invited the women without children who reside at the shelter. It’s never my intention to exclude anyone. So when MCW asked, I explained how this will better serve the local community because building strong women leads to stronger families, bonds, and increased self-esteem! Some of the women have been victims of abuse, while others face daily challenges of drug & alcohol abuse and some are making strides towards becoming productive citizens refocusing their lives after being involved in the justice system. It’s a very together program, residents have been certified homeless so not just anyone can come off the street, and if they aren’t compliant with substance counseling/probation they’re not able to remain at MCW. But from what I gather they have helped many women who are at the point of realizing they want to better themselves and become mentally & emotionally healthier.
I’m so truly excited to be someone who can have a positive influence in the lives of women & their children! I’m so thankful to have come across Chicktime! I would like to schedule our 3rd training and the website training as well! If possible, next week would be great! I’m available Mon (1/28), Tues (1/29), or Thurs (1/31) anywhere between 10am and 1pm if that works for you. The following week I’ll be busy pretty much all through except maybe Thurs & Fri. Feb. 7th & 8th.
One last note of positivity (for now), the Program Director @ MCW conducts weekly self-improvement classes for 10-week sessions on a variety of topics and she asked if I’d be interested in facilitating some of the classes and sharing my story!!! Of course, I said yes!!!! They were touched by my story and my vision for our local Chicktime chapter! I had a nice presentation of my info with the talking points sheet and reasons why I chose MCW all in a pink folder with a Chicktime sticker and calendar and my resume which mostly gives my volunteer background as well as educational and professional just for them to get to know me as a person. They presented it to the Executive Director. They loved it all! The Program Director wants to join as a volunteer too! Even the Volunteer Coordinator who is moving on to other endeavors in a couple weeks wants to join as a volunteer!!!
Thanks for your vision Lori! And for empowering others to carry on that vision locally and globally!!!
Looking forward to the 3rd training session as I prepare for further recruiting efforts and our Kick Off Celebration! My daughter is excited too and she looks forward to speaking as part of my presentation of Chicktime to the volunteers!
Interceding on behalf of the voiceless: locally, globally, and beyond,
“The worst thing you can do is to judge yourself through the eyes of others.” ~Unknown